Attendees

Dan Albaugh

Ph.D. student neurobiology, UNC-Chapel Hill

Dan Albaugh is a fifth-year PhD student in the Neurobiology Curriculum at UNC-Chapel Hill. His primary research interests concern the therapeutic mechanisms of deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy, a powerful treatment for many otherwise intractable neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases. He employs state-of-the-art functional neuroimaging tools in rodent models to evaluate how DBS therapy affects neural circuitry. He has published several articles on this topic in international peer-reviewed journals, and has recently received a prestigious predoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health for his work. When he’s not scanning brains, he enjoys traveling and attending indie rock shows with his beautiful wife, Courtenay. 

Michael Angus

PhD student in Climate Science, NC State

A third year PhD Student at North Carolina State University,I am working on applying computer science techniques to climate change problems; specifically, rainfall variability in East Africa. Originally from the United Kingdom, I received a Bachelors in Meteorology and Oceanography from the University of East Anglia in 2010, before going on to complete my masters at NCSU in 2012. I enjoy writing all manner of things, but have a particular interest in communicating climate science.   

Twitter: @mpangus

Shayan Banerjee

Masters student in Physics, NC State

MS student in Physics with a BTech in Computer Engineering and MBA in Communication. I am yet to get involved in research but will most likely join an Astrophysics group. Apart from physics I'm interested in cinema and its history and classical and rock music.

Will Barclay

PhD student in Immunology, Duke University

Will Barclay completed his B.S. in Biology at Case Western Reserve University and is now in the first year of a Ph.D. in Immunology at Duke University. At the time of the event, Will is rotating throughout the Duke Immunology department. His interests in projects generally relate to innate immune system function and autoimmunity. He is always looking for opportunities to get involved in science policy so as to effectively advocate for the scientific community.

Sean Bloszies

PhD. student in Soil Microbiology, NC State University

Sean is in graduate school at NC State because he is passionate about agriculture and its role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. He is working towards a PhD. while studying the microbial processes involved in sequestering more carbon in farm soils and in more efficiently delivering nutrients to crops. His goal is to communicate the value that farms play as ecosystem service providers, specifically as important greenhouse gas managers. 

Twitter: @SeanBloszies

Tyler BridgesCopy of TylerBridges.jpg

Masters student in Zoology/Molecular Paleontology, North Carolina State University

After receiving a B.S. in Geology and a minor in Biochemistry from Montana State University, Tyler began working as a Masters student at North Carolina State University. His interests are specifically working with actualistic taphonomic experiments on a largely microscopic scale and extrapolating the information to the fossil record and the preservation potential of original soft tissues and proteins within dinosaurian remains. He enjoys incorporating a multidisciplinary perspective into his research, including geology, biochemistry and microbiology. When given a chance, Tyler loves to travel and do field work all over the world. So far, the Dry Valleys of Antarctica have been his favorite. 

Twitter: @tylerknoxb

Anne Bunnellbunnell portrait.jpg

PhD student in Coastal Resources Management, East Carolina University

Anne received her BA in Biology from Mount Holyoke College and her Master of Arts in Teaching Biology from Brown University. She is presently a doctoral student in the interdisciplinary Coastal Resources Management program at East Carolina University. She is transitioning from the natural sciences to the social sciences because of her personal experience working on the Environmental Advisory Commission for the City of Greenville, North Carolina. Her research interests are studying obstacles to effective water resource management in coastal communities who rely on water infrastructure, such as desalination. She is a twenty-two year veteran of the classroom, teaching science to high school students for a decade. Today she teaches biology to non-majors undergraduates at East Carolina University. In her (very) spare time she loves to spend time with her teenage daughter and kayak the waters of eastern North Carolina.

Twitter: @aebunnell

Elizabeth Christenson 

Masters student in Environmental Sciences & Engineering, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

I am finishing up a master's degree at UNC Chapel Hill in Environmental Sciences & Engineering. I like spatial problems, GIS and mapping, and enjoy finding ways to incorporate spatial data in research design because maps communicate information really well. Working with microbiologists and epidemiologists as well as government officials, I'm constructing a spatial database of industrial hog farm sprayfields in North Carolina to improve access to this information as well as to look at demographic patterns and potential health and water impacts associated with these operations. Additionally, working with the Water Institute at UNC, I collaborate on spatial analysis components of water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) projects.
When resting, I play ultimate frisbee, attempt a garden, and make dinner with friends.

Website: http://waterin...-christenson/

Rossie Clark-CottonRossie_headshot.jpg

PhD student in Cell and Molecular Biology, Duke University

Rossie earned degrees in biology and linguistics before beginning the Ph.D. program in cell and molecular biology at Duke University. Between degrees, she worked as an announcer for her hometown radio station, managed a neurolinguistics laboratory, and coordinated clinical trials of autoimmune disease. In her free time she sings in the Duke Chapel Choir and researches the history of her hometown in Mississippi. One day she hopes to progress beyond first position on the viola. 

Chelsea Clifford

PhD in Environment, Duke University

Chelsea is a Ph.D. student in aquatic ecology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. In the Duke River Center's Heffernan lab, she studies ditches and other artificial aquatic systems, their socio-ecological role, and the drivers of their condition. More broadly, she is interested in how water connects landscapes, how natural ecosystem function persists in human-dominated environments, and the interdependency between people and these functions. Chelsea is an Earth Stewardship Initiative Fellow, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and a Virginia Master Naturalist. Before Duke, she worked for Chesapeake Environmental Communications, The Nature Conservancy, Archbold Expeditions' MacArthur Agro-Ecology Research Center, White Mountain Research Station, and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. She got her BA in biology and environmental studies from Carleton College in 2010.

Twitter: @ditchontologist

Website: http://heffern...m/people.html

Angel CruzAngel_Cruz.jpg

PhD student in Crop Science, North Carolina State

Growing up in rural NC, watching families transition from tobacco and then working for several years in community gardens and agricultural education in rural El Salvador, I became passionate about sustainable agriculture. I decided to come to graduate school when I was reading soil science textbooks in Spanish in El Salvador. I completed my MS at NCSU and am now working on my Ph.D. My research is based in El Salvador where I am using a participatory action research approach to examine how improving soil conservation can increase food security for smallholder farmers.

Caroline DruckerCaroline_Drucker.jpg

PhD Student in Neurobiology, Duke University

Caroline grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and attended college at Yale. She is now a graduate student at Duke in the Cognitive Neuroscience program and Neurobiology department. She is interested in how the brain enables us to think about numbers and do math, and how a new noninvasive technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation might improve these abilities. Caroline enjoys running, cooking, and watching musical theater.

Twitter: @NeuroCaroline

Geneva Ely 

Masters student in Atmospheric Science, North Carolina State

Geneva received her dual-BS in Meteorology and Environmental Sciences from North Carolina State University (NCSU). She is currently pursuing a Master's in Atmospheric Sciences from NCSU. Geneva's research interests include big data analytics applied to climate research, geostatistics, and local climatology. Her previous work includes expanding a decision-support tool for tobacco growers throughout Southeast, and exploring methods for gridded climate data bias correction. Currently, Geneva works to apply and analyze climate data for local application. When she is not working on research, Geneva contributes to the North Carolina State Climate Office's Blog (http://http://climate.ncsu.edu/climateblog) and Twitter (@NCSCO). She also enjoys knitting and reading science fiction.

Twitter: @earlgraywx

Website: http://climate.ncsu.edu

Daniel Foreman 

PhD student in  Immunology, Duke University

Dan joined the Department of Immunology at University Medical Center in 2014 following the completion of his BS in biology from The George Washington University. In his undergraduate work, Dan researched to develop new methods of single cell metabolic analysis to better understand tissue heterogeneity. Since starting at Duke he has explored research in T cell development and signaling.

Twitter: @DanielPForeman

Tiffany GarbuttIMG_0178.JPG

PhD Student in Genetics, North Carolina State

Tiffany is a PhD candidate and NSF graduate student research fellow at North Carolina State University. Her research investigates cell state variability in induced pluripotent stem cells in non-permissive mouse strains. Originally from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands she has always had a love for story telling, but also an innate curiosity that lead her to the field of biology. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology, summa cum laude, from the University of the Virgin Islands. She has had research experience with green sea turtles, plants, humans, flies, and mice. She is always ready to learn something new and is excited by the field of science communication as a platform to learn and share scientific discoveries with the public. Together with another graduate student, she formed a graduate student branch of the GO: Genetics Outreach program, which volunteered at local schools and museums to teach children about genetics. She has a science blog and has written several pieces for the internal NCSU W. M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology magazine, The Signal. When not in the lab she can be found with her nose in a good book or her eyes glued to a good movie. She enjoys the outdoors, running, mountain biking, and spending time with family and friends.

Twitter: @TiffanyGarbutt

Elle GlennyElleGlenny.jpg

PhD Student in Nutrition, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Elle received her BS in Human Biology at Cornell University and is now a Nutritional Biochemistry PhD student in the School of Global Public Health at UNC. She is working in a cell biology and physiology lab and is particularly interested in studying the role of specific microbes and nutrition on intestinal stem cells. She grew up in Seattle, WA but has been moving around the country and the world for the past 7 years. This is her first year living in the Triangle and is thus far enjoying the ideal weather for year-round ultimate and road cycling.

April Hamblin

Masters student in Entomology, North Carolina State

April received her BS from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Environmental Science. As she learned about the environment, her love for insects grew. April is now a Masters student at NC State University in the Department of Entomology. There, she researches how urbanization affects native bee assemblages. Cities, with higher temperatures, impervious surface cover, and human activities than surround natural areas, may give us a glimpse into the future bee population to learn how to better conserve it and its pollination services. In her free time, April loves to conduct entomological outreach, teaching anyone who will listen to appreciate insect abundance and diversity.

Website: http://ecoipm....pril-hamblin/

Calvin Harmin

Masters student in Geography, East Carolina University

Calvin received his BA in geography from the University of Kentucky in 2009. Afterwards he worked in city government for two years mainly doing cadastral (land parcel) mapping, and then pursued post-bachelor coursework in environmental science. He is now continuing his education as an MA geography student at East Carolina University. He focuses on water hazards (flooding) and the industrial pork industry in North Carolina. He also has pursued research into improving methods for estimating at-risk population from hazards. 

Twitter: @clavicon

David Holcomb

PhD student in Environmental Sciences & Engineering, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

After receiving his BS in Environmental Science in 2012, David worked as a research assistant at Duke University, where was tasked with hugging trees (for science) all up and down the East Coast. He returned to UNC in 2013 to begin a doctoral program in Environmental Sciences and Engineering in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. His research focuses on mapping environmental contamination by fecal microbes, both locally at the watershed scale and at the household level in urban Mozambique. David enjoys working on his family's farm in Hillsborough, NC. He often represents the farm at local farmers' markets, where he has the pleasure of bludgeoning customers with information on sustainable agriculture.

Lee HongHongLee.jpg

MD/PhD student in Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Lee is a MD/PhD student at UNC whose main interests are in immunology and its applications to multiple fields of medicine. She is currently studying the role of epigenetics in T cell-mediated inflammatory bowel disease and improving cancer immunotherapies by targeting T cell tolerance. She hopes to one day become a physician-scientist who conducts research, mentors students, and treats patients. Outside of lab, Lee established the UNC School of Medicine creative arts journal "Iris" and enjoys editing students' creative writing submissions. She also plays violin in the Duke Medical Orchestra.

Kristen HopperstadKristen Hopperstad.jpg

Masters student in Entomology, North Carolina State

Kristen Hopperstad is currently a master's student at North Carolina State University. Originally from deep south Texas, she received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Texas-Pan American. Kristen's research focuses on the evolutionary response of the yellow fever mosquito to an invasive mosquito species recently established in the southeastern US. An avid science advocate, she has partaken in a number of outreach programs and events. She led undergraduate students on a research project as part of STEP UP to USDA Career Success, mentored local high school students through a Science Saturdays program, volunteers as an arthropod expert at Raleigh's annual BugFest, and chairs the American Mosquito Control Association Young Professionals committee. 

Twitter: @Hoppersquito

Website: http://www4.nc...research.html

Christina HorsfordChristina Horsford.jpg

PhD student in Social Work, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Christina is a third-year PhD student at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She graduated from Cornell University (CALS '98, CIPA '09) and Fordham University (MSW, 2012). Her dissertation foci include interventions to successfully reduce malnutrition and dehydration among cognitively impaired nursing home residents, and organizational readiness for change. She has written for peer-reviewed publications, and long-term care periodicals. When she's not writing or thinking about writing, Christina enjoys being a beach bum. 

Wei Huang

PhD student in Pathology, Duke University 

Wei received her medical degree from Peking University and now a 5th-year PhD candidate at Duke University majored in Pathology. Her research interested is the cellular therapy for hematologic malignancies, including T cell therapy for Graft-versus-Host Disease(GVHD) and the role of myeloid derived suppressor cells in lymphoma development.

Catherine Huestoncatherinehuestonpic.jpg

PhD student in Neurobiology, Duke University

Catherine Hueston received her BA in Neurobiology from the University of Virginia in 2010 and is now a 5th-year PhD student in Neurobiology at Duke University. Adolescent male flies try to mate with everything in sight, but they gradually learn how to focus their attentions on receptive females. Catherine studies the cell biology and genetics of this learning process in order to better understand how cellular changes in the brain underlie learning.
She has recently started writing short articles about the Duke Neurobiology Invited Seminar Series which can be found here: http://www.neuro.duke.edu/SeminarBlog2014

Twitter: @C_E_Hueston

Emilie Huffman 

PhD student in Physics, Duke University

I am a third year physics graduate student at Duke University, studying lattice computations with applications for both condensed matter and particle theory. I use Quantum Monte Carlo techniques to study phase transitions in many-particle systems and also look for solutions to what are known as "sign problems," in order to expand the scope of these calculations. I love teaching physics, and have been a TA for an inquiry based introductory physics course, as well as several lab courses and recitation sections.

Lou Isabella

PhD student in Physics, Duke University

I am currently a third year physics student at Duke University studying quantum information science. I work on building new lasers to use in studying individual ions trapped in an electromagnetic field. I am originally from Ohio and received my undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University in engineering physics.

Christina Lebonville

PhD student in Psychology - Behavioral Neuroscience, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Christina is a PhD student a UNC Chapel Hill in the Behavioral Neuroscience program. She studies how the immune system can be conditioned to a context. She loves talking about research with non-scientists and at one time hosted a podcast to do just that called Obviously Oblivious. Now she is on the quest to be a better science communicator.

Website: http://donlysl...he-lysle-lab/

Haritha MalladiHaritha Malladi_Portrait.jpg

PhD student in Civil Engineering, NC State University

Haritha is a doctoral student in civil engineering at NC State University. She is from India and was born and brought up in the lush, green state of Kerala. She received her B.Tech in Civil Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India. She has always been a huge advocate for sustainability. Her research in pavement materials focuses on recycling asphalt pavements and reducing pavement construction emissions. Haritha believes that communication is key in bridging the gap between academia and application and strives to encourage her students (and herself) to communicate their science effectively and engagingly. In her spare time, Haritha loves to play the "Veena", read, write and surround herself in nature.

Twitter: @ladyasphalt

Website: https://harith...ordpress.com/

Morgan MalyComSciConRTP MorganMaly.jpg

Masters student in Animal ScienceNorth Carolina State

Morgan received her B.S. in Biology and Certificate in African Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently attempting to finish her M.S. degree in Animal Science with a minor in Biotechnology from NC State in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Her research focuses on captive cheetah endocrinology and reproduction, specifically during sexual maturation. Her interests include reproductive physiology and endocrinology of non-domestic species and their application to support conservation initiatives of both ex situ and in situ populations. Though she is admittedly a lab rat, she also has experience in field work and enjoys the outdoors and traveling.

Drew Marticorena

PhD student in Horticultural Science, North Carolina State

Drew received his BA from Yale University in Economics. Drew is currently wrapping up a PhD working on issues related to making agriculture more sustainable. Drew has applied his quantitative analysis skills to issues related to farm-level economics, historic agricultural changes at the county/community levels, and agronomic research. Drew is interested in informing more people about the role/importance agriculture plays in their lives. Drew regularly gives presentations to diverse ranges of audiences on topics close to his heart.  

Stephanie Mathews

PhD student in Microbiology, North Carolina State

Stephanie received her undergraduate degree in Biology and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently a fourth year Ph. D. student at North Carolina State University. Her dissertation research is focused on the degradation and conversion of lignocellulosic waste by bacterial metabolism. This pulp mill waste, which produces that distinct aroma of a paper mill, has great potential for producing valuable chemicals. In addition to employing bacteria to make valuable products from waste, Stephanie also likes to knit, crochet and sew. 

Twitter: @sl_mathews

Website: http://slmathe...wordpress.com

Molly Matty

PhD student in Genetics and Genomics, Duke University

Molly attended NC State University, excited to leave the rural South of the panhandle of Florida. She studied chemistry and genetics at NCSU, and was accepted to Duke University's Program in Genetics and Genomics (UPGG) in 2012. Here, she studies the host-pathogen interactions between zebrafish and Mycobacterium marinum as a model for human infections with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She is interested in novel host-directed therapies for tuberculosis. In her free time, Molly loves to travel, SCUBA dive, and eat lots of ice cream. 

Twitter: @ooomollypop

Robin Mays

PhD student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State

After receiving her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Virginia Tech, Robin headed off to the industrial polymer world to experience polymer manufacturing firsthand. Robin then decided to return to graduate school at North Carolina State University to learn more in depth about polymer synthesis and applications. During her time at graduate school, Robin has tackled siloxane polymers, thiol-ene polymerizations, and stimuli-reponsive elastin-like polypeptides, all very different aspects of the wonderful world of polymer science.

JoEllen McBride

PhD student in Astrophysics, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Jo is a PhD candidate in the Physics and Astronomy Department at UNC - CH. She studies whether star birth is completely shut off, toned down some or enhanced by interactions with 4 or more galaxies. She is part of the Engaging the Public in Science Workshop at the NC Museum of Natural Science and is also an Astronomy Ambassador for the American Astronomical Society. She was also a delegate of the Student Advocates for Graduate Education for three years where she lobbied on Capital Hill for graduate student issues such as research funding and student debt. In her free time, she pets her kitties Thelma and Louise and raises her 4 month old daughter, Carina, with the help of her partner, Ed.

Twitter: @astrophyspunkin

Website: http://physics...ride-joellen/

Hillary MulletHillary Mullet headshot.jpg

PhD student in Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University

I am a PhD student in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. Broadly speaking, I conduct behavioral research in the field of human learning and memory. More specifically, I am interested in applying cognitive science findings to inform and improve educational practice. A second line of research focuses on how people remember to perform tasks in the future.

Victoria Nneji

Masters student in Engineering, Duke University

Victoria Chibuogu Nneji was born in West Africa, raised in the American South, and spent her undergrad years in the Big Apple. Now, she is back enjoying family in North Carolina while earning her graduate degree at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering. Victoria is a creative thinker and thoughtful creator, passionate about education and technology, researching human-robot interaction.

Away from her studies, you can find Victoria museum hopping, music cyphering, urban cycling, or better yet, off-the-beaten-path hikes tour guiding.

Twitter: @ifindx

Website: http://victori...rikingly.com/

Kayleigh O'Keeffe414503_2392028965279_937761224_o (2).jpg

PhD student in Biology-EEOB, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Kayleigh is a first year PhD student in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Kayleigh is originally from Long Island, New York and received her BA from Amherst College in western Massachusetts. Now living outside of the Northeast for the first time, Kayleigh is interested in studying host/pathogen interactions in Charles Mitchell's lab. She is specifically hoping to elucidate the mechanisms by which some plant pathogens are able to switch their roles/environments, either living in the soil off decaying organic matter or parasitizing a plant. Since coming to Chapel Hill, Kayleigh has connected with local educators through SciREN to create a lesson plan based on her research and plan classroom visits, and she hopes to further pursue her interest in science education and outreach while here.

Twitter: @KOKeeffe12

Website: http://krokeef...wordpress.com

Kathleen OnorevoleKathleen Onorevole.jpg

Masters student in Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Kathleen is a second-year Masters student in the Piehler lab at the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences. Her research focuses on denitrification rates in restored oyster reefs and salt marshes over time. Kathleen hopes to pursue work in ecological restoration, which she believes has great potential if informed by scientific research. One of her most enjoyable science outreach efforts has been writing for UNdertheC, a UNC Marine Sciences grad student blog. Kathleen received a BA in Environmental Biology from Colgate University in 2010.

Twitter: @konorevole

Website: http://underthecblog.org/

Melissa Pickett 

PhD student in Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, North Carolina State

Melissa is a PhD candidate in the Environmental and Molecular Toxicology program at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on understanding how the intestinal tract forms during development, using frog tadpoles as models. Melissa found that a well characterized neuronal protein is present in non-nervous tissue of the developing gut, and is currently working to understand what the function of this protein might be. Outside of the lab, Melissa volunteers at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and is active in science outreach for elementary school students.

Megan Serr

PhD student in Zoology, North Carolina State

Before I began graduate school at North Carolina State University I taught high school science, as well as anatomy and physiology to nursing students at ECPI University. I hold a Bachelors of Science degree from California State University San Bernardino, and a Masters of Science from The University of Nebraska. My background in biology is broad, and I enjoy doing both lab and field research. Currently my focus is on reproductive behavior and mate choice in both mice and prairie voles. I am particularly interested in the ecological and behavioral aspects of genetically modified populations. In addition, I plan to use these organisms to focus on the social aspects of addiction. As a science educator I have long been interested in interdisciplinary studies and the social dimensions of science. Having an inter-disciplinary background will also provide me with the tools required to be an effective researcher and professor.

Website: http://researc...u/islandmice/

Rachel ShafferRachel Shaffer.JPG

PhD student in Toxicology, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Rachel Shaffer graduated from Yale University in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies/Environmental Health. She is now a first year PhD student in Toxicology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Between college and graduate school, she worked on environmental health policy at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in Washington, DC. [Some of her contributions to the EDF Health program blog can be found here: http://blogs.edf.org/health/?s=rachel+shaffer&searchsubmit=Search ] This work gave her insight into science policy and communication, and it motivated her to help bridge the gap between between scientists and non-scientists. She ultimately hopes to pursue a career in public health and work to strengthen environmental health policies and regulations.

Meg Shea 

PhD student in Physics, Duke University

Meg received her BS from Yale University and is now a fourth year PhD candidate in Physics at Duke University. Meg is part of the quantum electronics laboratory where she is building an experiment to trap a single atom to use as a quantum bit (qbit) in quantum computing and quantum communication protocols. She is focused on improving the links between memory qbits of matter (like atoms) and flying qbits of light. Meg is also part of the University Scholars Program at Duke, which focuses on interdisciplinary communication and learning. Before starting her PhD, Meg taught high school physics and math for 3 years in England. She loves talking about science, so teaching was a wonderful experience for her. Outside of the lab, Meg enjoys eating fresh, local food and playing ultimate frisbee

Website: http://www.phy...rgaret-e-shea

Edwin WP SiyameEdwinSiyame.JPG

PhD student in Nutrition, North Carolina State

Edwin WP Siyame is a human nutritionist by profession. He is a senior lecturer at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi. Being a research and academic institution, Edwin has experience in teaching, research and outreach activities. Through the 10 years he has been with LUANAR, he has conducted research in the area of human nutrition and health. His research interests are in diets and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and overweight and obesity. He has published some papers on the collaborative research that he has been involved in in physiologia plantarum (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ppl.12144/abstract), Scientific Reports (http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130312/srep01425/full/srep01425.html) and International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research
On his free time, Edwin likes traveling to new places and listening to gospel music.

Carter Smith

PhD student in Marine Science, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

I am a graduate student in Marine Science at UNC Chapel Hill where I study coastal ecology and conservation. My research investigates how different coastal erosion protection mechanisms (like bulkheads, revetments, marsh sills, and natural marsh) perform during major storm events and what effect they have on local ecosystems. It was my undergraduate studies in Theater at Wesleyan University that instilled the conviction that it is through public outreach and communication that progress is made and environmental stewardship is kindled. 

Ted StanekTed Stanek.JPG

PhD student in Neurobiology, Duke University

Ted Stanek is a Ph.D. student in the Neurobiology department at Duke University. His research uses rabies virus and similar retrograde viruses to trace the neural circuits that coordinate chewing muscles so that the left and right jaw muscles activate at the same time, while the tongue is kept safely away from the teeth. Initially a Biochemistry major at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in Canada, Ted's interests have led him across many levels of biology, from molecules to computational biology of neural circuits. He believes there is a good story in every research question.

Kathie SunKSun_headshot.jpg

Masters student in Environmental Science and Engineering, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Kathie received her B.S. in Biology and Environmental Science from Duke University. Afterwards, she moved across the street to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she is currently a first-year Master's student studying Environmental Science and Engineering. Her research project builds upon a statistical model that predicts occupational exposures to a chemical found in automobile spray paint by incorporating genetic signatures from affected workers. Kathie also worked at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, MD for a few years and contributed articles and blog posts to their website, genome.gov. 

Phillip Turner

PhD student in Marine Science and Conservation, Duke University

Phillip is originally from the United Kingdom, where he received an M. Sci. in marine biology at the University of Southampton. He moved to the United States in 2014 to pursue a PhD in Marine Science and Conservation at Duke University. He is interested in the impacts of deep-sea mining and how to establish management techniques to ensure conservation of rare species within the deep-sea.
Before enrolling in a PhD, Phillip worked as an Arctic governance analyst for a European Union project. In his spare time, he is a musician and has started exploring North Carolina and the wider United States. 

LinkedIn: http://www.lin...hillipturner1

Michael Vella

PhD in Biomathematics, North Carolina State

Michael is excited by the field of biomathematics, which involves creating models for biological systems to gain knowledge about math and about the underlying biological behavior of the system. His current research focuses on the efficacy of release strategies in suppressing mosquito populations and stopping the spread of vector-borne diseases. Michael is especially interested in how these models can be used to inform future research and public policy. Past research has involved modeling the spread of E. coli in grazing cattle and analyzing dynamics of neuron networks in the brain. In his free time, Michael enjoys playing a variety of sports and volunteering at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Josh Wheaton

PhD student in Immunology, Duke University

Josh Wheaton is a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Immunology at Duke University. His research interests center around understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling peripheral T cell differentiation during immune responses. Currently, his thesis research investigates the role of novel long non-coding RNAs in directing and maintaining function of T helper 17 (Th17) cell. Long term, Josh hopes to use his research to advance therapies for immunological diseases including multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Twitter: @JD_Wheaton

Michael Drake

Masters student in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, North Carolina State

Michael is a Seattle native and received his BA in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. His work as an ecologist has taken him to field sites in Mongolia, Argentina, Namibia, and Iceland. Currently, he is pursuing a BS at NCSU, studying urban coyote management.